North Korea’s hydrogen bomb: a bluff or reality?

North Korea’s hydrogen bomb: a bluff or reality?

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 6

By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

One month after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un announced that his country developed a hydrogen bomb, local media said today the bomb has been tested, and linked the last night's 5.1-magnitude tremor next to the country's Punggye-ri nuclear test site to the underground bomb test.

But experts or security bodies of other countries haven't confirmed that such a test indeed took place, as a nuclear or a hydrogen bomb can't be tested in a clandestine manner, or due to fact that the depth of a tremor can't be kept in secret.

This in turn has further put the validity of the bomb test reports under question.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is scheduled to hold a session in the coming days to further investigate the issue. Most probably, the North Korea's hydrogen bomb test announcement, which coincided with an earthquake, is a political bluff that has only domestic consumption.

Both theoretically and practically, making a hydrogen bomb, which is similar to a process taking place in the Sun - called fusion - is much more complicated than making an ordinary nuclear bomb based on fission. Making a hydrogen bomb requires increasing temperature in the process to several million degrees Celsius to pave the way for a nuclear fusion. This is similar to the process that occurs in stars, when temperature rises so high that it makes fusion possible among hydrogen atoms.

Meanwhile, a radiation case, or a hohlraum is needed to contain the free neutrons in order to raise the temperature to several million degrees Celsius and create conditions for a nuclear fusion.

In other words, a hydrogen bomb intrinsically includes nuclear fission of unstable radioactive substances, such as uranium and plutonium. North Korea found the technology to make fission-based nuclear bombs a decade ago. The country, which is isolated from the global community, has so far conducted three nuclear tests. But, it is doubtful whether it could acquire a technology that India or Pakistan haven't been able to acquire.

It is true that humans are a result of a nuclear fusion - all the atoms making the Earth, galaxies and our bodies have been the result of a nuclear fusion. However, the nuclear fusion is also a nightmare for human beings. A hydrogen bomb has the destructive power of several million times more than an ordinary nuclear bomb.

So, such a technology's being acquired by an unaccountable country, as North Korea could be a global disaster. And as many theorists had predicted, production of such weapons - the thermonuclear weapons probably capable of destroying the whole human culture and even the human race - hadn't been limited to a few countries.

There is always a threat of military action or conflict in interests among countries. And at a time when some countries hold strategic weapons, others will have no feeling of security.

---

Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector and head of Trend Agency's Iran news service

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